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Thread: Are Tandem Hook rigs really necessary?

  1. #1
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    Question Are Tandem Hook rigs really necessary?

    I just recently took up the addiction of Kokanee fishing and see that almost everyone (well maybe everyone...) uses a tandem rig, mainly in regards to using hoochies or wedding rings, so I have been doing so too. Monkey see, monkey do. It works great in keeping fish on the line when both hooks are engaged that's for sure! But, always a but, it also greatly increases the mortality rates and makes me less able to release shakers. The forward hook either hooks them in the eye or gills or mid body or somewhere on the head so badly due to their thrashing (which I admit is a rush no matter the size of the fish) that they must be kept because the fish won't survive, if you are a true fisherman anyway.

    So being the new person and ignorant on the subject, I am looking for education on the subject as to why everyone uses tandem or double hook rigs. If I catch a six inch Kokanee (or Silver if fishing in Riffe), I would rather let it go and let it grow than keep it, not filling my limit so quickly, and being able to take the larger fish. I have been rigging the tandem hook set ups like Bill Herzog, size 1 drop shots, 'cause that is where I found info first when I started researching Kokanee fishing, due to listening to Wild Country. I see some sellers of rigs invert the front hook and/or use a different hook style. Haven't tried that, but do not see any difference in results personally.

    Am I doing something wrong? Or is it just part of the sport? Or is there absolutely no reason for tandem hooks, except that since everyone else it doing it, everyone else does it? Am I going to be ostracized if I get caught using single hooks?

    Please advise - I like to be educated. It's the only way to improve! Thanks!

  2. #2
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    --I use a single sickle style hook or cut of the trailer on tandem... on hoochie I use beeds to move single hook near to the tail of the hoochie.
    --In British Columbia where I fish many of the larger lakes and all streams have a single barbless hook regulation. The regulation is mainly to allow for release of larger trout or other non target species.
    --Some lakes the tandem is allowed and most gear rigged in USA comes with tandem.
    --I can's say for sure but I don't think I loose an exceptional number using the single barbless sickle hook... I think I lost more fish with the single barbless J style hooks but again usually get enough hook ups that is it not a big concern.
    --For sure you can't allow slack line but thats all part of the experience.

  3. #3
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    Most Koke lakes have a reputation for either lots and lots of small fish or like the Gorge, lots of big fish and chance for a life time fish. If you are fishing a lake with lots and lots of small fish, culling is really not called for. Some days you'll have 5 - 10"ers and somes days 5 - 9" - 11" fish. If by chance you kill a 7" fish, scoop it up and take your lumps. Fishing this particular type of lake is going to require a double hook because all those fish have a very, very soft mouth at that size and they tear out easily. When you fish the lakes with the large fish in them, who wants to risk a chance at a fish of a life time to one hook? I guess if I was catching 30 small fish a day, it would be the best argument to a single hook because I just wanted to stay out longer. But that's about the only reason I can think of.
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  4. #4
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    I fish single hooks spoons a great deal and found that the percent fish into net is at least as good as with a double rig found on most hoochies. My last trip to the Gorge I switched to a single barbless hook on my hootchies and I really liked it. I used some #4 Mustad 92671 beak hooks that I happened to have in my tackle box, and I turned down the barb and bent up the eye with pliers for snelling. These have a bit longer shank that put the point end at what I deemed a good position in the hoochie, and they are a fairly thick hook
    We did not have any loss in fish boated among several 3 - 4 lb kokes hooked, and it sure was easy to remove the hooks from fish and net. In fact I would go so far to say that it is at least as effective as a double rig for the larger fish at the Gorge owing to less tearing because the single hook was larger and thicker than the normal Gamakatsu I had been using on the double rigs.

    I plan on using single barbless more on my hoochie and apex rigs!
    Last edited by smokepoles; 08-31-2012 at 07:55 PM.

  5. #5
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    I make a small three bladed troll, a snubber, and a lure. The spinner I make has a single j-style hook. The fly I make has tandem j-style hooks. (I know, using j-style hooks probably makes me old fashioned.) And to start another controversy, I use #8 hooks. I seem to lose more fish with larger hooks. Today I used the spinner with a single hook, boated 6, and lost a couple. If the fish are hitting aggressively I don't lose many with a single hook. If the fish are hitting tentatively I seem to do better with a tandem set up or even using a wedding ring or rooster tail with a small treble. I sometimes fish "catch and release", keeping only the ones that won't live, just so I can stay out longer. I prefer a single hook when I plan to release some fish. Sometimes I flatten the barb, but then I lose a lot more.
    Last edited by Physion; 08-31-2012 at 08:51 PM.

  6. #6
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    To help answer your question the idea is to harvest kokanee not to catch and release them when smaller fish are caught and to injured to release you count them in your creel limit if like mention you have smaller fish by all means use a single hook/ most fish is lost usually tear through the hooks because of there softer mouth in tandom hooks are use so we don't loose fish not release them adding a snubber maybe two so they don't rip off. I've fish green Peter Res and there are good numbers of smaller fish/just have to count them if they are to injured to release.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickelsWorth View Post
    I just recently took up the addiction of Kokanee fishing and see that almost everyone (well maybe everyone...) uses a tandem rig, mainly in regards to using hoochies or wedding rings, so I have been doing so too. Monkey see, monkey do. It works great in keeping fish on the line when both hooks are engaged that's for sure! But, always a but, it also greatly increases the mortality rates and makes me less able to release shakers. The forward hook either hooks them in the eye or gills or mid body or somewhere on the head so badly due to their thrashing (which I admit is a rush no matter the size of the fish) that they must be kept because the fish won't survive, if you are a true fisherman anyway.

    So being the new person and ignorant on the subject, I am looking for education on the subject as to why everyone uses tandem or double hook rigs. If I catch a six inch Kokanee (or Silver if fishing in Riffe), I would rather let it go and let it grow than keep it, not filling my limit so quickly, and being able to take the larger fish. I have been rigging the tandem hook set ups like Bill Herzog, size 1 drop shots, 'cause that is where I found info first when I started researching Kokanee fishing, due to listening to Wild Country. I see some sellers of rigs invert the front hook and/or use a different hook style. Haven't tried that, but do not see any difference in results personally.

    Am I doing something wrong? Or is it just part of the sport? Or is there absolutely no reason for tandem hooks, except that since everyone else it doing it, everyone else does it? Am I going to be ostracized if I get caught using single hooks?

    Please advise - I like to be educated. It's the only way to improve! Thanks!
    Just a side note, I noticed you are in Washington, with the talk of catch and release in this thread I thought it would be a good idea to mention the fact that catch and release is not legal, in the sense that letting the little ones go to keep the bigger ones. As long as you count then toward your daily limit your ok.
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  8. #8
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    All,

    I let this thread "soak" for a while as to get a good amount of responses and that is just what happened. Thank you for all the insight; there are several perspectives represented and that is great! I was wanting that to be the case. I now have a great amount of info to make my decision moving forward. Perfect!

    Mudinchev and mrmike, you are absolutely correct. I do live in WA and the rules do clearly state wether kept or released. I am aware of this too, thank you for pointing it out to others who may come from out of state. They may have taken my comment about releasing them incorrectly and perhaps been ticketed. It is common knowledge for me, so I am used to that fact, but not for the others. The clarification is greatly appreciated.

    If possible, I would rather not bring home a 4 - 6 inch fish, letting it go after making sure it is revived properly and tallying it to the catch. I primarily fly fish, and C&R is mostly what I do anyway, rarely ever bringing home anything for the dinner table, but I do once in a while if permitted on the waters I am fishing and the fish is worth keeping. Now after taking on this type of sport of fishing, if I come home with any Kokes of decent eating size, that's plenty for my family and it still made my day. It's the full day experience I take home, not just limits of fish. Too much fun!

    Excellent discussion! Thanks for the education - and I will greatly improve my game for it.
    Last edited by NickelsWorth; 09-03-2012 at 10:18 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudinchev View Post
    Just a side note, I noticed you are in Washington, with the talk of catch and release in this thread I thought it would be a good idea to mention the fact that catch and release is not legal, in the sense that letting the little ones go to keep the bigger ones. As long as you count then toward your daily limit your ok.

    It is legal to catch and release. What isn't legal is if one is using bait to catch and release. Bait was not mentioned in this post.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kokanee-Toni View Post
    It is legal to catch and release. What isn't legal is if one is using bait to catch and release. Bait was not mentioned in this post.
    Yes I forgot to mention that part....haven't fished kokanee with out bait since I started fishing for them and didn't know any better. Anymore I just assume every one does and it didn't cross my mind that some may not. Thanks for clarifying!
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  11. #11
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    Yes, thank you for clarifying that point, Kokanee-Toni. I too have been using bait, Gulp maggots (another Herzog tip) or shoe peg corn, so I was thinking just as Mudinchev, never crossed my mind either. I may forgo the bait now, opens up the creel a bit......see if it makes a huge difference or not. Still use the scents - it stinks so bad, I wouldn't think missing bait would be a big deal!! LOL!!

  12. #12
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    It would be interesting to hear F&G's position on the clause, "using bait". My interpretation would be using bait on a hook that would be swallowed. Not tipping a lure. Sort of letter of the law versus intent of the law. It is probably not that well defined in the regs but that makes more sense to me.
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  13. #13
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    WDFW (WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife) regulations are some of the worst in the country to interpret. A lot of the fisheries open a few years ago are closed now due to the Puget Sound and Strait Rivers reg.s, which are horrible to interpret, though they do not affect lakes, with the exception of beaver ponds. Bait, well letter of the law versus intent of the law is up to the WDFW agent at the time of your chat with that person. Our WDFW definition of Bait is: "Anything that attracts fish or shellfish by scent and/or flavor. This includes any device made of feathers, hair, fiber, wood, metal, glass, cork, leather, rubber, or plastic, which uses scent and/or flavoring to attract fish or wildlife."

    So you can see that it can be interpreted that even hoochies slimed with Smelly Jelly could be defined as "bait". Wonderful huh? I understand the reasons, mainly for the Salmon restoration, think they are well intended, and agree Salmon restoration is important, but most of the time, the intentions do not do anything towards restoration, but do a lot towards restriction.

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